India Explored: Destination Guide: Badami, Aihole And Pattadakal: Posted By Arunchs



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Posted on: Tuesday , Oct 28, 2008 At 12:20 PM

Destination Guide: Badami, Aihole And Pattadakal

The town of Badami, along with small nearby villages of Pattadakal and Aihole are a hub of ancient architecture of Karnataka. Turn every corner and you will see a finely carved temple built from sand stone.

Overview. The region around Badami is rich with architecture dating as far back as the 8th century. Chalukya and Rashtrakoota dynasties that ruled this region on the bank of Malaprabha river have built many Hindu, Jain as well as Buddhist temples on the plains and rocks of these parts. Summers can be hot in these parts; best time to visit is from November to February.

Orientation. Badami is a small town with some tourist accommodation. The cave temples and other places to see in Badami are a short walk out of the town. Banashankari, a small village just outside Badami is known for its temple and the annaul fair. Pattadakal and Aihole are 30 minutes to one hour away from Badami. Buses and rickshaws are easily available for the commute.

Sightseeing and Activities

Cave Temples and Agastyamuni Lake. Badami is most well known for it's cave temples. There are five temples built on a fine red sandstone rock, which have carvings of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain heritage. The place is in a beautiful sight facing Agastyamuni lake.

Agastyamuni Lake

The hill opposite to the caves has many temples that is approached by a beautiful passage formed by depression in the rocks. There is a Shiva temple on the top of the hill. Just beyond the hill is Malegitti Shivalaya Temple. You can see the panorama of the lake and the cave temples from the top of the hill. At the base of the hill is a small museum maintained by Archeological Society of India. At the far end of the lake is the beautiful Bhoothanatha Temple.

Cave Temples

Pattadakal has a complex of temples on the bank of Malaprabha river. Pattadakal, along with Aihole has the unique distinction of being the only place where you can see a mix of northen rekhanagar style architecture along with southern dravidian structures. Galaganatha temple is a fine example of Rekhanagar style build of temples, while the Virupaksha temple, one of the largest in the complex is built in dravidian style.


Aihole once hosted a school of architecture where students from all over India came to learn. It is often called the cradle of Indian Architecture, where many styles got evolved and refined. It is for this reason that one can see temples that confirm to no style, each different from other, can be easily seen spread all along the village. Durgi Gudi, Lad-Khan Temple, Huchhimalli temple and Ravanphadi are some of the important temples in the village.


The village of Banashankari has a small temple and a large tank in front of it. It is more known for its annual fair which attracts large number of people from nearby towns and villages. Mahakoota is another place with an ancient temple complex inside a leafy area. A perennial spring emerges from the complex and is said to be holy. The beautiful temple complex is worth a visit.


Food and Accommodation. Only Badami has some reasonable food and accommodation available. Use Badami as base to travel to Aihole and Pattadakal.

How to Reach. Badami is approximately 500km from Bangalore. Direct Buses are available. Nearest large towns are Hubli and Gadag. Hubli is well connected from rest of the country by trains.

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